Image courtesy of Packers.com
I’m getting a little sick of the “Looking ahead to the [insert opposing team name here] game” title for these articles, so instead, you’ll get a lame joke! I’m always good for those.
Anyways, the Packers have sort of an interesting match up this week. The Pack will be looking for it’s fourth straight win, while the Cards are on the verge of their fifth straight loss. It’s another game that they should definitely win, playing at home against a struggling team, but I think this one will definitely be tougher than last week. And that means they better play a lot better than they did against the Jags.
The Cards approach defense much the same was the Packers do. They’re both 3-4 teams that focus heavily on the blitz, and getting to the quarterback. In fact, do you know which two teams are tied for the league lead in sack this season? Yep, these two teams. The Pack and Cards also have the number two and three players in sacks this year, respectively.
Jeff Saturday and co. will definitely have their hands full this week in protecting Aaron. Containing the Cards’ blitz will far and away be the number one key to the game. The offensive line just can’t struggle the way it has lately. Aaron took a beating last week against the JAGUARS…and for the most part they only brought a four man rush. That absolutely cannot happen this week, or Aaron will need more than just a bye week to recover.
Not only does Aaron need more time to throw, but the line needs to get some run blocking in place this week. It appears Alex Green will be the lead back again this week, and I expect better play out of him. He’s a good runner, and this should be a week to get him back on track. The Cards rank 21st against the run, and the Pack need to take advantage of that.
It looks like the Packers will be without their top two receivers again this week, so the run will have a huge impact on whether or not they can get the passing game going with a limited number of big play receivers on the field. I’m hoping, praying, and longing for a Finely coming out party. Remember when the Packers lost to the Cards in the Wild Card round of the 2009 Playoffs? That was a dominating performance by a tight end. Finely needs to find his inner beast and play to his potential, the offense needs it.
Finally the defense needs to be on point. Without a consistent running back to rely on, the Cards will look to John Skelton to carry the team. He’s not very experienced, but he isn’t awful. It helps that he has Larry Fitz to throw to. I know he’s aging, but he’s still the star on offense, and his hands are still incredible. The defense needs to get at Skelton and cause some turnovers. If they can do that, the rest of the pieces will fall into place and the home crowd will carry this team to 6-3 heading into the bye.